Possible Dual Rotor Technology for Wind Turbines

Energy Inventions | Wind Power | Wind TurbinesIowa State Aerospace Engineers Anupam Sharma and Hui Hu are exploring the possibility of adding a smaller, secondary rotor to wind turbines. The engineers studied the base of existing turbines and found two major problems. First, they are big round structural pieces that don’t harvest any wind energy because they are not shaped like an […]

Air Canada backs project to build biofuels supply chain for airports

An earlier version was originally published in the Toronto Star. Canada’s aviation sector made history in 2012 after a number of test flights showed that renewable jet fuel could be blended with regular fuel without affecting airplane performance. It started in April, when Porter Airlines used a blend of 50 per cent “biojet” fuel on a Bombardier turboprop, which successfully flew from the Toronto island airport to Ottawa. Two months later, Air Canada flight AC991 carried passengers from Toronto to Mexico City using a similar 50/50 mix. It was the first of two commercial test flights Air Canada conducted that year. “We took 43 per cent of the carbon out of that flight,” said Teresa Ehman, the airline’s director of environmental affairs. “It was phenomenal. But it raised the next…

Wind-powered freighters

To make ships more eco-efficient, engineers have been working with alternative fuels. A Norwegian engineer is currently pursuing a new approach: With VindskipTM, he has designed a cargo ship that is powered by wind and gas. Software will ensure an optimum use of the available wind energy at any time.

Preventing hydropower turbine failure

The Francis turbine is the most common type of water turbine used in Norwegian hydropower plants, and has been for many years. About half of the world’s Francis turbines are found in Norwegian plants.

Twitter fight! Bernie and Hillary battle it out over who has the better climate plan

When was the last presidential race in which the two leading candidates for a major party’s nomination aggressively competed over who has the best plan to address climate change? Oh, right, never. But 2016 is a new era. This week, the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns talked smack to each other on social media, fighting for the hearts of climate hawks. It started on Wednesday, when Sanders — who last month released a very ambitious, but legislatively focused, climate plan — challenged Clinton to detail her own plans. Over the last few months, Clinton has reacted to the candidacies of Sanders and fellow climate hawk Martin O’Malley, as well as grassroots activist pressure, by moving left on a couple of key climate issues. After years of avoiding…

Super environmentally friendly: the ‘fool’s gold battery’

High-performance lithium ion batteries face a major problem: Lithium will eventually start to run out as batteries are deployed in electric cars and stationary storage units. Researchers have now discovered an alternative: the “fool’s gold battery”. It consists of iron, sulfur, sodium and magnesium – all elements that are in plentiful supply. This means that giant storage batteries could be built on the cheap and used stationary in buildings or next to power plants, for instance.

Two-stage power management system boosts energy-harvesting efficiency

A two-stage power management and storage system could dramatically improve the efficiency of triboelectric generators that harvest energy from irregular human motion such as walking, running or finger tapping.